During an average year in the United States, floods cause close to $8 billion in damages and water cleanup and over 80 fatalities. Those of us in the Denver and Aurora, CO areas know first-hand the power of floods, the kind of destruction they can cause, and the exhaustive repairs that must be made after the fact.
Yet, there are still a surprising number of misconceptions about flooding and a lot of ignorance about how floods work.
Whether you live in a designated flood zone or not, live near to or far from a body of water or river, your home and property are still susceptible to flooding. All it takes are the right combination of events and even a high elevation, flat, dry area can be flooded.
To help you be better prepared, here is what you should know about the types of floods, what causes them and the damage they can do.
Coastal flooding occurs on the banks and areas near large bodies of open water, usually oceans and seas. They typically occur during a combination of high tied and heavy, consistent rain fall.
During the high tide, the water overflows the banks, dikes and/or dunes and pushes onto land, damaging property and eroding the coastline.
Perhaps the most infamous coastal flooding, though, is that caused by storm surges. These occur when severe storms, such as tropical storms or hurricanes, are out in the ocean and make their way toward land. Regardless of the tied, the strong winds push the water on shore.
Because of how far inland it can go and how strong the currents, this type of flood can cause devastating damage beyond repair and loss of life.
Fluvial floods, or river floods, are rather common. They are caused any time a river or stream reaches full capacity and overflows its banks.
Causes of river floods can be as simple as excessive rainfall over a period of time, or from snow melts or ice jams up stream. This type of flood usually happens gradually and can be a bit slower moving. It can still cause quite a bit of erosion and damage that is very costly to repair.
However, rivers can also be impacted by another type of flooding, the flash flood.
Flash floods, unlike the previous two mentioned, can happen with next to no warning. Within 6 hours of the start of the weather that caused them, a flash flood gathers water and speed very quickly.
This fast moving water is incredibly dangerous. At just 10 miles per hour, water has the same pressure and force as 270 mph winds! Water moving this fast can pick up cars and other large debris, even very heavy rocks, making the flood waters even more damaging to structures and people.
Flash floods can happen anywhere, whether or not there is a large body of water or river nearby.
Urban flooding occurs when the drainage and sewer system gets backed up. Heavy rain falls cause it to reach capacity, and the water begins to spill back into the streets, or never drains in the first place. With the concrete, asphalt and structures of the urban area, there is little natural drainage available, and the result is street flooding.
Though they may not be very deep, these floods are still dangerous to those driving through them and also cause potential electrocution hazards if any power lines have been knocked down by the storm.
Urban floods can occur in any urban area regardless of nearness to water source or elevation.
The Denver, CO area has seen our fair share of flooding and water damage. Don’t be caught unprepared!
Some things that you can do to prepare are to make sure you have insurance that will cover water damage repair should you become a victim of flooding. You can also know some basics about water restoration and cleanup.
Should the worst happen, here at Restoration Logistics, we are prepared to help you get your life and home back in order. We offer 24/7 emergency calls and water cleanup and are always happy to provide a free estimate.
We offer a wide variety of restoration and cleanup services, including for sewage and mold. Give us a call today with your questions!